Nostalghia's Ciscandra Confines Comfort with Art, Fashion, and Music


California-Iranian native Ciscandra Nostalghia was primarily raised by her Persian mother, Persian and German Grandmother, her sister’s Jamaican and English father, and her Irish and Russian father, who spoke fluent French. Keeping to herself and having difficulty making friends who understood the cultural dynamic of her family, Ciscandra found freedom in self-induced entertainment, the music of language, and the sound of diversity, digesting and expelling it in the form of art, galvanizing her solitude into the vulnerable-behind-veil, intimate yet expansive sound of NOSTALGHIA. She went on to create her own take on her artistic ways with music, film, fashion, playing before audiences, just to get her emotions, thoughts, and feelings thrown together for people to behold. She has do this and more and she has taken the time to discuss her creative mind, ways, and new album "Chrysalis".


1. Can you give me a brief summary on the band's history?

Ciscandra: Sure. I posted an AD on Craigslist of all places, I was looking for someone very serious and passion about music and wanted someone that didn't want to waste my time. I described the music I play as visual and cinematic, having not attached any music or photos, but strangely enough I got a response. Roy Gnan sent me some music and I sent him mine, I didn't want us to meet up until we had worked on something back and forth. We then met up at a coffee shop and he's since been the most loveliest person I have ever met and we made a record together.

2. You were the one to come up with the band's name, but were you aware that the name was also named for a 1983 film?

Ciscandra:  I am aware because of the band's name, Toy wanted to name the band after my last name. So I am aware of that now, I have never seen the film but have heard it's very beautiful. I have to get around to watching it, because I don't watch movies that much.

3. Why did you want this act to be a duo as opposed to a regular full-fledged act or a trio act?

Ciscandra: We don't consider ourselves a duo act live, we always have another person. The creative process and orchestration we do together, but we don't consider ourselves a duo. We always consider ourselves a band, because we always have another person on stage with us.

4. You call your music  “Post-apocalyptic gypsy punk" why do you think this was the right way to word your style of choice?

Ciscandra: A friend/fan of ours, came up with that and I just thought it was interesting. Pretty humorous and I guess fitting in some way because when you hear that title you'd like "What is that?" "What in the world is that?" So I suppose it's just one of those things you hear when listening to your music,  I still don't know what the hell we are, you get the same reaction when you see us live.

5. Did you play the game Gods Of War or are you a gamer and that's what lead to you having a song on the Gods Of War release?

Ciscandra: I've played it once before but I am not a gamer it's not my thing don't really have the attention span for it but it is a neat game. I was jamming once when Tyler Bates who does all of the music for Gods Of War, he was like "Do you want to lay some vocals down for this video game I am doing?" I had no idea at the time, what video game he was talking about, but I was really cool with him and liked his vibe so I was like sure. So then I laid down some vocals and it wasn't until the day of that I had already recorded vocals that I realized what I was doing it for, it was pretty neat, but I didn't only release just a song but vocals as well.

6. You've been involved in fashion shows, why did you see fashion as something you wanted to involve yourself in?

Ciscandra: Well I wouldn't say I want to get involved in the fashion industry, I design all of my clothes, most of them, so fashion follows me because of it, so I don't enjoy cat walks or nothing like that. But I am fashion friendly and do enjoy making new clothing, because of that,  it's grabbed attention from the fashion world. I don't like to wear things that are strange and bizarre just for the sake of it, I have to feel it, it has to reflect of who I am personally as a person,  I'm not the type of person that just wears crazy outfits just to get notice or something.

7. What else do you guys do outside of the band?

Ciscandra:  I'm a writer, I like to write and paint, and live life. Roy is also a painter and dreamist. We don't carry normal lives we get to be artists 24/7. We sleep during the day and resurrect at night. Why not? That's the way to do it.
8. What's song on this album would you say has a special or personal meaning for you that you would like people to hear and understand?

Ciscandra: The whole album has a conceptual meaning, I wouldn't be able to just pick out one song. They all hold a meaning of this journey of mine. But the concept that was running through my mind while writing, the idea of a chrysalis, which is the title of the album. A chrysalis is a harden outer shell of a pupa, which eventually a moth comes out or a butterfly. I had put myself in complete captivity, putting myself in completely uncomfortable positions and situations on purpose.  It was a transformative few years for me, so how the moth is involved is that it's found throughout the entire album. The last song you hear the moth come out of my mouth, it's difficult to describe how you would hear that but you can hear it. I wouldn't be able to just pick one song it's an entire journey and an experience of transformation of singles and hits.

9. Did you have enough time to record all the songs you wanted and are there any leftover you might use on the next album?

Ciscandra: I record at home so I can record any time I want too. I am constantly writing and Roy is writing as well, so there is always writing. There's always songs written towards the end that I want to put on but in reality it has to be on the next album. You can't put 200 songs on an album, you have to let it go and say it's complete, it's hard to do that, because you're always thinking that this is the best one, but have to let it go of its freely wormy hands I suppose. There are so many songs I would like to release and I would like to do that but there are some songs that I am already bored of them.

10. Do you feel any aspects of the album were overlooked or you wanted to add to it?

Ciscandra: When I first write a song, I love it for about a day, then I quickly have to take those ugly things and feelings and orchestrate them into something beautiful. After about a week I already hate the song and never want to hear it again, it's how I feel about every song on the album or other releases, I just can't listen to my own music. I always turn it off when Roy turns it on, I am a perfectionist to the max and always finding things that we could have done better, if we had the bigger budget, I would have liked to use, I always have ideas. I am never completely happy with how everything turns out.

11. Will this album be developed into any other mediums like film or graphic novels?

Ciscandra:  Certainly I just made a music video, and didn't know how cinematic it was based on the music. I have been toying with the idea of doing a film, using the music taking its shape into other mediums.

12. I know you say that your genre is post apocalyptic gypsy punk, but after hearing your music it brought to mind Tim Burton, Emilie Autumn, and One Eyed Doll; do you think aside from your main genre choice that these other aspects resemble the style your aiming towards?

Ciscandra:  I love Tim Burton, I think that he's wonderful and a genesis and I love all of his work. I don't think we have ever written a song and tried to be something. It's all based on emotions and screams that I sound like a child. It's not one dimensional it's a full spectrum of thoughts and feelings. I don't even listen to music, I will listen to it if a friend plays a song that they love, and I will love it, I do love music I'm just not a huge fan I don't really sit around listening to things trying to be like this or that. I am always trying and changing new things, but no we are not trying to be something we're not, if I did that I would be shackled to that and it's not how I work.

13. You guys are already an act that stands-out, but why should people be interested?

Ciscandra: They shouldn't nobody should be interested. It seems like nowadays there's a lot of great music out there, it's very rare when you hear music that's emotional. I just started realizing that there isn't a lot of emotional music out there,  that a lot of the bands even my friends listen to and these bands that play live, it's all based on theory all or nothing, death and rebirth. I think it wakes people up in some way when putting someone to sleep. I wanted to wake myself up so I wanted to make something that makes them feel alive. Like an acceptance that gives people something blood, sweat, and tears as a women to do that is powerful. It makes you feel something we want to feel alive.

 14. Where else do you guys plan to play shows or tour for this year?

Ciscandra: We just got off tour with 30 Seconds to Mars and just did Soundwave and I was the only female there. But not sure which tour we will be a part of yet. I will start to make films for the music and just write some more. Just doing what we do. Sleeping during the day!

15. Any last words?


Ciscandra: I don't think so, good bye? Thank you you've been asking some interesting questions.

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